Friday, 5 July 2013

Turtles and Pikelets - with gf buckwheat option

Pikelets are to pancakes as children's fingers are to adults'.  Chubby and little without a whiff of sophistication. I haven't eaten them for years (pikelets not fingers).  I don't count the anorexic ones that E took to buying from the supermarket a few years back.  Then I was prompted to make picklets by RanDom Recipes and my pikelet curiosity was piqued.

After waiting forever for the yeasted picklet mixture to bubble up, every time I make pikelets, Sylvia asks, are you making picklets or pikelets?  She then checks if they are the bubbly ones or not.  Whereas in my childhood, pikelets were all that I knew.  And I knew them well.  There was often a plate of buttered pikelets among the slices and fairy cakes at any get together.  Sometimes they had jam or sugar on the butter.  Nothing special.  Just a part of life.

Pikelets are fried on a pan but should not be confused with pancakes.  They are neither flat nor fluffy.  As Sylvia found out in the above and below picture, pikelets are too chubby to stack.  They are uniquely Australian but come from a British tradition of cooking breads on a griddle.  They are too soft to be bread.  Yet they are far more bread than pancake.  But just slightly sweet.

They were so common in my childhood.  I was sure I must have made them before.  A search of my blog reveals I have tried a vegan pikelet recipe. It seems a long time ago.  When I made them for my niece's birthday recently I was surprised at how thick they were.  I decided the Cauldrons and Cupcakes recipe must not have enough liquid and I needed to try other recipes.

Despite my misgivings, I was very pleased with my pikelets that we took to Ashy's birthday.  I really enjoyed their restrained sweetness.  They are sweet enough when spread with jam and butter to have a place among the cakes and slices.  Yet they are not indulgently sweet.

Soon after, I made more pikelets using a recipe from taste.com.au.  It is a website that deals in good honest recipes with no frills.  Plus it is Australian.  Their recipe was similar with perhaps a little more liquid.  The pikelets were still chubby little morsels of deliciousness.  I looked at quite a few other recipes and none were terribly different so I stuck with the first one.  (The Cauldrons and Cupcakes post has far more Aussie colour and is worth a read.)
 
Sylvia resolutely stuck with jam, no butter.  I tried some different toppings.  I really enjoyed the almond butter and banana.  It was delicious and not too sweet.  Far better than maple syrup or even hazelnut agave syrup.  My favourite is still jam and butter.  For old times sake!

Pikelets are often eaten cool.  They keep soft and fresh for a day.  Great for taking to a party or an afternoon tea.  However I wanted to try a gluten free version because this makes it something that more of my family can eat.  I tried a buckwheat pikelet recipe from Bizzy Lizzy's Good Food.  They were very good soon after being cooked, though a little less chubby than their gluten cousins (see top photo).  Not so good a few hours later.  And Sylvia had a stomach ache after eating them so she is now off gluten free food and keeps insisting I make pikelets with normal flour.  Sigh!
 
I find that this is a good snack food for Sylvia.  Sometime I will try using wholemeal flour (like this recipe).  I will also try some of Kari's interesting pikelets with fruit.  Meanwhile I think I keep using white flour because it reminds me of the soft white pikelets of my childhood.  Like the pikelets I made when we had a picnic on the verandah recently.

My most recent batch of pikelets were made this week when I visited my sister in law and kids for lunch and craft.  I arrived with only half the craft stuff I meant to bring.  Fortunately Erica had lots of stuff we could use.  We meant to make a paper plate turtle like the one on the right in the below picture with patchwork paper.  Instead we used paint and shiny stickers to make the one Sylvia is reaching for.

Cooper had as much fun mixing colours as making the turtles.  Ashy just wanted to paint and paint and paint.  Any colour would do.  Sylvia loved the stickers.  Erica gave Sylvia a wad of shiny silver stickers.  She brought them home and stuck one onto everything in sight and told me they were all paid.

I am sending the paper plate turtles to Red Ted Art blog for the Kids Get Crafty linky party.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Sam Stern's Lancashire Burgers
Two years ago: Cookie wands
Three years ago: Falafel for E, Pizza for Sylvia
Four years ago: NCR Quinoa, Cabbage and Corn Soup
Five years ago: Corn bread, borscht and common sense

Pikelets

Traditional Pikelets
Adapted from Cauldrons and Cupcakes
Makes 15 - 20 pikelets

3/4 cup milk (we use soy milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 cup self raising flour
1 egg
1 to 2 tbsp golden syrup (or other sweetener)*
butter, margarine or oil for frying

Buckwheat Pikelets
Adapted from Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things

1/2 cup soy milk
a squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup arrowroot (tapioca flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon raw sugar
butter, margarine or oil for frying

Mix milk and lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes so that it gets a little chunky.  Place self raising flour (or flours and baking powder) in a medium mixing bowl.  Mix in milk, egg and golden syrup (or sweetener) to make a thick batter.  Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to thicken further.

Meanwhile heat a heavy bottomed non stick frypan over high heat.  Turn down to medium heat and melt a knob of butter (about 1/2 a teaspoon - just enough to cover the pan when you swirl it around).  Give the batter a stir and drop small dessertspoonfuls onto the frypan.  Fry a few minutes (I never time it) until the mixture has changed texture and is slightly drier and the underside is golden brown when flipped.  There may be a bubble or two but they don't bubble like pancakes.  Flip over and leave another minute until golden brown on this side too.

Eat warm or cool.  Great with butter and jam.  The Buckwheat Pikelets are best eating soon after cooking.  The Traditional Pikelets are best eaten by the end of the day.

*Note: I find 1 tbsp golden syrup enough but you might want them slightly sweeter especially if you are eating with just butter.

On the Stereo:
The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk: Various Artists

20 comments:

  1. Pikelets were often around in my childhood at family gatherings - I don't think I've ever made them though. They remind me of visits to my grandpa after my grandma had passed away, he always used to make wonderful pikelets for us and I was astonished that he could cook. Jam was always my favourite topping.

    I'll have to check out your vegan version - I've been meaning to give one of Kari's versions a try too. And I love the photo of Sylvia's pikelet stack!

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    1. Thanks Mel - I remember my vegan version being more like pancakes but must try it again (have not had success with vegan pancakes) I am interested in Kari's version which I think are more chubby. That's lovely memories of your grandpa.

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  2. I've never heard of pikelets before! Mmmm, they look nice and cute! :D As a child, I loved pancakes, but I haven't eaten any in ages. I want to try making buckwheat pancakes, so I'm happy to see buckwheat flour worked well! I also have a vegan egg replacer that gets nicely fluffy when stirring it into water, so I'm optimistic! :)

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    1. Thanks Kath - I love pancakes for breakfast but we seem to eat pikelets in the afternoon - have never tried a vegan egg replacer but might help me find some vegan pancakes I love. Would be interested to hear how the buckwheat pancakes work for you - I have a vegan buckwheat pancake recipe I want to try

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  3. I've never heard of these either but like you say they look ideal for afternoon tea, spread with jam. My Mum used to make Welsh cakes or Scotch pancakes for those sorts of occasions.
    P.S I love your turtles! Very creative!

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    1. Thanks coconut and berries - I am not sure about Welsh Cakes - only tasted horrid dry ones in a store last year but I am sure the fresh ones are nicer - however I think scotch pancakes might be more like pikelets

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  4. Maybe we should make a national pikelet day to bring back the humble pikelet to the family table? I love them and made spelt ones recently, which were inhaled by everyone here.
    To the pikelet!

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    1. Thanks Brydie - National Pikelet Day is an excellent idea - your spelt ones looked lovely - pikelets certainly need to be celebrated

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  5. I've never heard of Pikelets before Johanna, what a shame too. They sound rather intriguing. I agree with the comment above, a National Pikelet Day sounds good to me. I'll even celebrate it here in the states!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

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    1. Thanks Louise - I would depend on your to wave the flag for National Pikelet Day - great idea!

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  6. Cold pikelets (lightly barely sweetened) spread with real butter was one of the best treats my grandma made for us growing up. But ours were definitely more pancake than bread!

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    1. Thanks Hannah - I remember them always being cold (was curious that Stephanie Alexander said they should be served hot - they are lovely at room temp) and I remember them as small pancakes but these recipes I have been trying aren't so I am not sure about my memory on that one

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  7. Your first paragraph made me giggle :-) You have set off a serious pikelet craving in me (I clearly am all chubbiness and no sophistication in my tastes because I never crave pancakes but often crave pikelets!) and I think I'll have to sate it with your buckwheat version. I love how fluffy they look - always a good sign.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I have been really into pancakes and suddenly it is pikelets, pikelets, pikelets - probably your influence with all your interesting recipes :-) Hope you enjoy them with some buckwheat - I must try them with oats or quinoa flakes like yours

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  8. Love the turtles and the pikelets. I haven't had pikelets for ages.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I am sure pikelets are calling your name :-)

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  9. I'm not sure that we really have anything like pikelets in the US since pancakes aren't yeasted...maybe crumpets or english muffins?

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    1. Thanks Joanne - oh dear I might have confused you as well as Sylvia with all my talk of picklets (yeasted) and pikelets (not yeasted) - these pikelets are not quite as sturdy and bready as cumpets and english muffins but I have an inkling that they may share a heritage

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  10. I loved pikelets although my mother wouldn't often make them. They were such a treat for us, especially with strawberry jam! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - we are loving them with berry jam. Glad you got them occasionally

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